Miami Heat History
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It looks like changes are coming for the Miami Heat. Team president Billy King has expressed his concern after the Miami Heat went a disappointing 38-44 in the 2005-06 NBA Season and couldn't make the playoffs in a weak Atlantic Division with teams such as the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors. Certainly, this will be a pivotal off-season for King, the embattled president who has yet to prove he can make the smart decisions needed to turn the Miami Heat back into contenders. King has promised major changes on a defense-deficient roster that saw its touted young nucleus take big steps back.
With the sixteenth pick overall in the draft, the Miami Heat selected Rodney Carney from Memphis.They also selected from Bobby Jones who came through in a trade with Washington. Both players bring athleticism and tough-minded attitude. The selections are most likely to replace Iverson because the organization is planning to move him.
Surprisingly enough, the Miami Heat do have talent. Samuel Dalembert and Kyle Korver, who both signed to long-term deals last summer, regressed this season. Dalembert was in-and-out of the lineup because of injury and inconsistency, and was still complaining the coaches haven't made him better. Korver played in every game, but he pouted after losing his starting spot and his 3-point numbers dipped, though he wasn't asked to shoot as much beyond the arc this season. He's also one of the Miami Heat worst defenders.
Andre Iguodala also remains a mystery. After showing unbelievable skills at the Slam Dunk Contest and receiving the MVP award in the Rookie Challenge during the All-Star Weekend, one has to ask, “Is he nothing more than a showstopping dunker, or a promising player who can develop a mid-range game and become a legitimate scoring threat?”
As far as personnel, Miami Heat Coach Maurice Cheeks will return next season, even though 43 wins and a playoff berth got former Head Coach Jim O'Brien fired after one season.
To make matters worse, Cheeks was humiliated by Allen Iverson and Chris Webber in the home finale by showing up late and making him find out from the media his stars had not yet arrived. Even though players liked Cheeks, without a veteran assistant to bounce ideas off, his strategy was often puzzling and he could not lead the Miami Heat out of their second-half slide.
Problems continued when the Miami Heat suffered a crushing 94-93 loss to the visiting Pacers on March 5. The game sparked a downward spiral that took the Miami Heat from two games above .500 to seven below in five weeks. The 4-13 stretch turned the Miami Heat from competing with the New Jersey Nets for the Atlantic Division title to unsuccessfully trying to catch the Chicago Bulls for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
With numerous trade rumors circulating around the league for superstar Allen Iverson, the Miami Heat could see some drama before the next season. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets are reportedly possible teams interested in the guard and so are the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics. If King decides to keep the current team together, he may have to look into bolstering up the defense or sign some veterans to help the young players of the Miami Heat.
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